By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
|President Benigno S. Aquino III graces the Testimonial Review and AFP Change of Command Ceremony at the AFP General Headquarters Grandstand, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City Friday (July 18, 2014). With the President is Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, the new AFP (left), outgoing AFP Chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista Chief of Staff and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. (Photo by Gil Nartea/Ryan Lim/Malacanang Photo Bureau)|
Until the AK-47s' brouhahas, some colonels have been telling me that Police Regional Office-3 Director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta (Philippine Military Academy 1984) would be the shoo-in, despite bypassing three senior PMA classes 1981, 1982, and 1983 who have still bets for the top police post, after chief PNP Director General Allan Purisima retires on November next year.
“Matibay iyan. Habang mga mistah (classmates) niya M-16 ang dala-dala sa field noong tinyente pa sila, siya payong para kay Kris Aquino noong panahon ni (President) Cory (Aquno),” one quipped.
Political observers have been wide eyed by Petrasanta’s rise to power.
From being the chief of the envied Firearm & Explosive Office in the police national headquarter to being the top honcho of the chosen Police Regional Office-3 based in Pampanga, he is not only the top gun but have a deputy regional director for administration (DRDO) Chief Superintendent (military rank of a star rank) Wendy Rosario, a member of PMA Class 1982 – his town mate in Pangasinan and his senior when he was a plebe and Wendy was a junior or cow (3rd year) at the long grey line at Fort del Pilar, Baguio City.
(You can accessed my Petrasanta's article entitled "The Elusive PNP's Top Post" at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-elusive-chief-pnps-post.html
|Army Chief Lt. General Hernando Iriberri|
In the race for the Army commanding general’s post; Iriberri bypassed Catapang after he replaced him at the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
Why the appointment of Iriberri or Delgadao was scuttled? Was it because Aquino’s approval rating from the Social Weather Station (June 27-30 of +25% only) and Pulse Asia (from 70% in March to 56% in June) plunged from all time low?
Was it because he and his advisers believe that ramming Iriberri (or Petrasanta incase he is still in the race for the PNP's top post) for the top AFP post would be unpopular not only in the military who look for the sacrosanct seniority rule and the masses who would smirk again on the favoritism being practiced by the president?
My fear happened after the Supreme Court (SC) dealt the coup’d’ grace (deadly blow) to the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or the infamous pork barrel.
A district engineer of the Department of Public Works & Highway chose to retire as tension between him and some surrogates of some congressmen became unbearable.
Why? When the SC took from the solons the power to identify the projects they want DPWH to construct in their respective districts, the DE becomes the real power where he can choose his favorite private contractors instead of the fair haired boys of the congressmen to work for the project.
“Probably the contractor chosen by the DE give a bigger S.O.P to the DE than the contractors under the behest of the congressmen, “a source said.
The SC decision made the DE and the regional director of the DPWH more powerful than the congressmen in the division of the “loot”.
“Maging kawawa ang dating ng mga congressmen. Paano na ang mga indigents, supporters, at mga media na pumunta sa kanila?,” posed by my source.(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too firstname.lastname@example.org).